Journal of Bioethical Inquiry

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 57–70 | Cite as

Narrative Identity in Third Party Reproduction: Normative Aspects and Ethical Challenges

Original Research

Abstract

In the last few decades, assisted reproduction has introduced new challenges to the way people conceive and build their families. While the numbers of donor-conceived (DC) individuals have increased worldwide, there are still many controversies concerning access to donor information. Is there a fundamental moral right to know one’s genetic background? What does identity in DC families mean? Is there any relationship between identity formation and disclosure of genetic origins? These questions are addressed by analysing core regulatory discourse (ethical recommendations and codes of practice). This analysis shows that the notion of narrative identity is suitable for defining and answering these questions. This review analyses the meaning of resemblance in DC families and the way donors are selected following affinity-ties and discusses disclosure strategies and agreements. As a preliminary conclusion, it could be said that, in the field of third-party reproduction, knowing about the donor conception significantly contributes towards the development of a narrative identity and also serves as a moral basis for the child’s right to know.

Keywords

Assisted reproduction Donor-conceived individuals Narrative identity Right to know Disclosure Anonymity–non-anonymity 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The first draft of this review was presented within the frame of the Erasmus Mundus Master of Bioethics scholarship, granted by the European Commission. I am very grateful to Prof. Kris Dierickx and Prof. Pascal Borry who provided valuable feedback. I would like to thank Chantal De Keersmaecker for her support and care during my stay at the Centre for Biomedical Ethics and Law, KU Leuven. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the anonymous reviewers for their useful comments and remarks, which helped improve this article. My gratitude also goes to my colleague and friend Anamika Chatterjee for her engagement in my work and precise proofreading. Last but not least, to my loving mother who took care of my child while I finished this review.

Supplementary material

11673_2017_9823_MOESM1_ESM.doc (42 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 42 kb)

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Copyright information

© Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Pty Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad de Buenos Aires, Facultad de Psicología, Práctica Profesional 824 El Rol del Psicólogo en el Ámbito de las Tecnologías de Reproducción Humana AsistidaBuenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) – Universidad de Buenos Aires, Instituto de Investigaciones en PsicologíaBuenos AiresArgentina

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